The kettlebell is the Swiss army knife of fitness, a portable gym that takes up little space but provides many benefits. Their appearance is imposing but simple: a cannonball attached to a handle.
Despite their recent popularity, they are not a new invention, and their effectiveness has made them stand the test of time.
Arthur Saxon was already using kettlebells more than a century ago.
What makes this tool so special? Its great difference with the others is the possibility of including ballistic movements, which in addition to improving your athletic capabilities raise the intensity of the training, achieving good results in less time. This type of exercise not only improves strength, but also mobility and aerobic capacity.
Kettlebell training also improves the quality of your movement, teaching you the biomechanical principles of the basic exercises: squat, deadlift, bench press…
What many trainers have observed for decades is now backed up by science:
A study at a military school concluded that training with kettlebells achieved better results in several parameters (such as power and muscular endurance) than classic workouts.
Movements such as the swing or the snatch are effective for improving aerobic conditioning, in the comfort of your home and without the impact associated with exercises such as running (study, study, study, study, study.
Kettlebell training is effective in reducing neck, shoulder and back pain (study, study, study), and also in recovering from lower body injuries. Obviously, using proper technique.
Kettlebells help gain strength and power, improving athletic.
If you’re used to working with dumbbells, you’ll be tempted to start with a heavier kettlebell. Be cautious.
The ballistic movements that kettlebells allow are very different from classic dumbbell isolation exercises. The speed amplifies the load, and mastering these movements takes some time.
The Big Moves
Let’s review the five basic exercises to get you started with kettlebells.
The first thing you’ll do when you get your kettlebell is lift it, and that’s why we start with the deadlift.
It’s obviously not as powerful an exercise as the barbell deadlift, but it’s enough of a load to polish your technique with little risk.
In addition, you can go a step further, with the one-legged deadlift
The interesting thing about the kettlebell is that, in addition to adding intensity, it allows you to explore a multitude of variations. This video shows you 23. Bonus points if you train barefoot on grass.
it is an explosive movement that works the entire posterior chain, with direct transfer to sports performance.
It helps to improve the vertical jump in addition to training power with minimal impact.
The Turkish get-up is one of the foundational kettlebell exercises. It combines a chest press (at the beginning of the movement) with a shoulder press, all accompanied by trunk and shoulder stabilization, as well as providing a good dose of balance and mobility.
In short, it’s a perfect recipe for developing strength, flexibility and overall stability. It works the large muscle groups, small stabilizing muscles and connective tissue.
Besides being a great exercise in itself, the clean is the fastest and safest way to get the kettlebell into the rack position, which is in turn the starting point for many other exercises. Being a unilateral exercise it will further strengthen your grip strength.
Over time… add complexes
One last benefit of kettlebells is that they allow you to perform an infinite number of Flows or Complexes, where you integrate multiple movements to achieve an effective workout in a short time.
In these cases it is advisable to use less weight, since the goal is not so much to gain strength as to improve our coordination and metabolic endurance. You could for example repeat the following circuit for ten minutes, without rest